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Not just poster girl for UNAIDS, will do ground work: Aishwarya Rai

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Not just poster girl for UNAIDS, will do ground work: Aishwarya Rai
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New York: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, the newly appointed UN Goodwill Ambassador for UNAIDS, says she does not want to be just a "poster girl" for the organisation but will undertake the ground work to help the agency achieve its goal of eliminating new HIV infections among children by 2015.

In her new role, Aishwarya will help raise awareness on issues related to stopping new HIV infections in children and advocate for increased access to anti-retroviral treatment.

UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe announced Aishwarya's appointment as the Goodwill Ambassador in a press conference here.

Mrs Bachchan said it was an "honour and privilege" to be working with the UN on eradicating AIDS/HIV.

"I will initially be like a student, holding the hand of the organisation which will lead me to the real picture on the ground. I don't want to be just a poster girl, don't want to be just part of a platform that will have my face and quotes and voice," the actress said.

She is planning to travel across India and other countries, interact with people, appeal to governments and talk with pharma companies to see what needs to be done.

Ash said she had been approached several years ago by the United Nations to be part of several programmes and causes but due to her packed movie schedule, she could not make the time to be associated with the initiatives.

"Now I am planning my time forward," she said adding that having been "wonderfully blessed" with a daughter, she can now take time off.

"It has been an absolute pleasure to take time off and take care of my daughter," Mrs Bachchan told PTI.

She said she is at a "good" point in her life where she is planning her career ahead, while also giving time to her family and daughter.

Lending her support to social causes like AIDS is not just the cliched "Miss World" talk, Aishwarya said.

"This is a turning point in my life. I wanted to be associated with the UN at a time when I could actually contribute to the work and the causes," she said, adding that having the blessing of celebrity will allow her to take her message to a larger audience.

UNAIDS is the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS that leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths.

PTI

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